U.S. Rep. Lynn Westmoreland’s surprise retirement announcement yesterday, in the words of one of the congressman’s aides, “means a variety of candidates will jump into the GOP primary race.” The 65-year-old incumbent from Grantville, who also served as state House legislator from 1993 to 2005, says he wants to spend more time with his family. (Just three months ago, though, he told staffers he would run for re-election.)

His 3rd Congressional District runs from Columbus in the south to the Carrollton area (Carroll County) and Atlanta’s southside suburbs to the north. It is solidly Republican. 2012 presidential candidate Mitt Romney received 66 percent of the vote; in 2014 there was a 65 percent general election turnout for U.S. Sen. David Perdue and 64 percent voted to re-elect Gov. Nathan Deal. 

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